Dec 20, 2020
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Hello All! I wanted to reach out and get some physicians' insights.

I am PMHNP. Went to NP school at a top school on a merit scholarship. I work in PP and absolutely love my job. But, though I had one of the best psych NP educations out there, it is not enough. I get frustrated knowing what to do but not always knowing why to do it or the larger picture. I talked myself out of med school after undergrad and regret it. I absolutely hate what is happening to the NP profession and I am sorry for any incompetent NPs you have had to work with trained at diploma mills with subpar clinical experiences. It is not safe and it needs to change. Many of my NP colleagues agree with me.

I am 28, married, planning to have kids in the next couple of years. I think I have a good shot getting into med school and would probably be able to enter 2023. I know it is such a personal decision, but I wanted to get people's opinion. Do you think I would be a better psych provider if I go to med school and psych residency or complete a masters in neuroscience? Which prepares me best? My goal is to eventually open my own practice with multiple providers working for me. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Feb 24, 2010
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Masters in neuroscience will do less to prepare you for 'the why' of things. Medical school + Psychiatry residency will prepare you more and help grasp 'they why' of things.

Of those who have been ARNPs before entering medical school, I'm not aware of any who regretted it, thought it redundant but conversely glad they had for their career.

As for kids and family planning. It will be tough. Tough no matter when you do, but you will need to lean on your spouse heavily if it happens during medical school and residency.
 
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Bartelby

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I think the master's of neuroscience would be at most slightly helpful clinically, and probably would not be worth it if your plan was to continue an NP career. If you want to improve your clinical practice the medical school route sounds far better.
 
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Nov 17, 1999
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Masters in neuroscience will do less to prepare you for 'the why' of things. Medical school + Psychiatry residency will prepare you more and help grasp 'they why' of things.

Er, I disagree with this.

If you want to understand the biology, structure, and function of the brain then the master's in neuroscience is likely the better bet. This might stop you from handing out nonsensical explanations for psychiatric phenomena like "chemical imbalances" and "not enough serotonin" (lots of MDs do this as well because, well, their education in neurobiology is lacking), but probably won't help you identify when something you're looking at is nonpsychiatric.

If you want to be more aware of the physiology and pathology of the body as a whole and how that can manifest in psychiatric presentations, med school will be better for that. This won't do a ton for your understanding of neurophysiology, but it will probably make you a lot better at catching things like UTIs or NMDA receptor encephalitis before you start hurling antipsychotics around madly.
 
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